Full Body Searches In Kindergarten?

The Boys at our district Kindergarten Center

 So I get this call yesterday from the school nurse.  Mind you, I get a lot of calls from the school nurse.  We’re in KINDERGARTEN, ya know.  All those nasty viruses spreading on insufficiently washed little hands, uncovered coughs and blow-out sneezes.  EEEwwwww is an understatement!

But THIS call was different. 

I was working from home so I tasked the Sarge with getting The Boys to school.  Before he even got home from dropping them off (not 10 minutes away) the phone was ringing.  Sadly, I know the number by heart and recognized it instantly. Here we go!  I bid a friendly hello to the school nurse.  In a  timid voice, dear Nurse H (she) said, “Hi Mrs. H (me).  I’m sorry to bother you but the teacher just had the boys in my office (A G A I N was left unsaid).  She noticed a scratch on The Little Man’s buttocks and one on The Big Man’s abdomen.” 

WHAT???  Talk about things that make you go hmmmmmm?  (I go hmmmmm a lot!)

Instead I said calmly, “Yes, Nurse H, I know about the 1” long, partially healed scratch on The Little Man’s right butt cheek and, though I wasn’t specifically aware that The Big Man scratched his belly, I can certainly believe that such a scratch pre-existed his arrival at school this morning because we were sledding over the weekend.  The Big Man was belly laughing as he went belly-whopping down a ski-resort-worthy bunny hill at a local(ish) school yard yesterday!  He had a blast.  And I’m sure that’s where he got said scratch!

“Question, if I may, Nurse H?  How is it that 30 seconds after their arrival at school, the teacher came to be looking at my kids’ naked butts and bellies?  I mean, what in the holy heck are they doing over there anyway?  Airport-worthy body searches on 5-year-olds upon entry to the kindergarten center? Checking for weaponry?  Looking for future terrorists?”

Me, half-joking and a quarter curious, I actually DID say this!  Nothing personal.  Just wondering, ya know?

With an uncomfortable laugh the nurse explained that she’s often put in the awkward position of making these ridiculous calls to parents… The teachers are watching the children go to the bathroom and if/when they notice scratches or marks on a child’s body, they need to report them immediately.  My edification:  they are required do this by law to (a) cover their own butts (pun intended) so as not to open themselves up to a potential parental law suit for student abuse and (b) cover their proverbial butts to the child protective services such that if abuse is discovered at home and the media gets a hold of the story, the school has appropriately documented any possible “evidence” supporting this oft-considered-evil-but-sadly-necessary agency’s conclusions to protect the child AND school in question.

In truth, in the midst of my curiosity and query-disguised-as-humor, I kind of figured out that it had to have been a potty-time discovery.  Dropping trow low and lifting shirts high to clear the flow is routine in my house!  (TMI, I know.  But you can picture it now, can’t you?) But it sure was funny having the conversation with the Nurse… who I respect and like as a person!  And, who fortunately shares my sense of humor and feels similarly… such that I haven’t been tagged as a potential abuser or terrorist sympathizer as a result of my boys’ sledding antics or injuries…  Not yet anyway!

Really makes you wonder what goes on during their 6-7 hours at school though, doesn’t it?


About Maggie

I'm a stay-at-home mother of 3 children including a 15-year-old daughter, the Old Soul, and 11-year-old identical twin boys who've been blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka: Down Syndrome). I happily spend my time doing all that I can do -- breaking the proverbial box wide open -- to foster my children's development and then sharing what I learn with you through this blog.
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4 Responses to Full Body Searches In Kindergarten?

  1. That sounds absolutely ridiculous!! Clearly these people have too much time and not enough common sense!

    • Maggie says:

      They’d do well to use that time for cleaning and teaching personal hygiene for the students LOL. Maybe then My Boys wouldn’t be sick all the time!

  2. Lisa says:

    Unfortunately, this is often the truth of it, as a teacher (special ed) if I see a child with a significant bruise, cut, scrape I usually report it to the school nurse to that a record can be made of it. Not because I think anything untoward happened at home, ( I have raised 3 children and have a grandchild, plus was the oldest of 6, I know what kids can be like :), but in case when the child comes home, there is a call back from the parent to say they there child has been harmed and it must have happened at school, because there is no way it could have happened at home :(. And there have been those very few times, I have been teaching for 17 years now, that there is child abuse going on and I am a court appointed reporter, so it is my job to watch out for tell tale signs of child abuse.


    • Maggie says:

      I absolutely understand the position of the teachers. It was just a very strange experience for me. Interestingly, I get multiple calls per week that my boys bonked their heads or fell on the playground etc. That happens more often than “injuries” at home since they are far more familiar with my home environment than school. Interestingly, the suspicious eye is never/rarely turned to the school in these cases (and I’m not saying it should be… just seems to be a one-way street). I student taught in a special ed class as a college student and was a kindergarten aide so I know just what you’re talking about. Even in my brief stint in the classroom in college, there was clearcut abuse going on but even the system had a hard time dealing with it (1980s). Sad. Keep up the protection for all kids. Better safe than sorry!
      – maggie

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